Friday, May 30, 2008

Nightmare Man

Every year After Dark pictures releases 8 films to die for. Inevitably one of them always sucks. Last year's entry of suckitude was The Gravedancers, a film I decided not to review... for now. This year After Dark pictures released a couple of not so great films, but the one that stands out the most from this year's lot is Nightmare Man.

I'm going to start off right now by saying that I'm going to ruin the ending of this movie for you. It's really not worth watching, so I don't consider it to be a big loss. If you want to see this movie, stop reading.


Otherwise keep reading.

I knew you would keep reading. This further adds merit to my claim that this movie sucks. Not even warnings of spoiling the ending will avert your eyes from the horrors I am about to unfold. You, dear Sporefan, are wise, and can now spend 89 minutes of your life doing something more productive.

In Nightmare Man a woman named Ellen (Blythe Metz) falls into some form of psychosis after getting a freaky ancient African fertility mask. Believing the mask to be evil, Ellen now thinks that there is a masked man or creature who is out to get her. I guess she should have read the description on eBay more carefully.

Her husband decides to get her help and files paperwork to have her committed in a happy fun sanatorium somewhere amidst the rolling forests of California. On their way out to said sanatorium, their car breaks down. Hubby (Luciano Szafir) decides to take a walk to get some gas, leaving his deranged wife to fight off...


...which is just some guy in the freaky African fertility/demon mask. I swear the thing is designed to scare you into having a child. In no other way could this mask ever possibly be construed to have anything to do with fertility.

Boo! Get pregnant! What, is this not working for you? I could get the mask from Satan's Little Helper if that what turns you on.

Meanwhile, four friends Mia, Jack, Ed and Trinity (Tiffany Shepis, James Ferris, Jack Sway and Carrie Ann Mo... err, I meant Hanna Putnam) are having a party in their remote cabin in the woods. This cabin is so remote that if anything should happen... anything... like a masked killer were to stalk the inhabitants or something unusual like that... the police would not be able to reach it in less than three hours.

But Ellen makes it there in about 5 minutes or so. Did I mention that they have working electricity?

Let's examine exactly how long a three hour trip by car is, shall we. Let's assume that after the occupants of this cabin called the police that they responded to the call promptly. I mean, people are being murdered, so its safe to assume that the police are on their way and not sitting around somewhere doing nothing. Lets also posit that the police en route to a homicide in progress would not be driving at the speed limit, so they would be travelling on I-5 en route to the mountains at somewhere between 60 and 115 miles per hour.

This would mean that the police officer en route to a homicide in progress was somewhere between 180 and 345 miles away. Given that I-5 runs for 796.53 miles in California, and that police are more concentrated in heavily populated areas, I would have to conclude that there are only two police officers in the entire Northern half of California. Either that, or they called in some out of state back up.

OK, so this movie does have some redeeming qualities.

This movie was written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky. I can only assume that Mr. Kanefsky has issues with spatial relation. However, I have to give Rolfe some props for a couple of decently funny murder scenes; my personal favorite being the one where the boyfriend stands in front of an open window vowing to avenge the death of his girl when his chest is perforated several times with arrows from the crossbow that the campers dropped early in the movie.

So, how exactly did the killer get your crossbow again, hon? I just want to be sure before moving away from this big window where there's plenty of light.

But what kind of supernatural being uses a crossbow to kill? If you guessed that the killer was a real live person just wearing a mask, then you're correct Sporefans. The movie makes it pretty obvious that someone wants Ellen dead. Someone who probably took out a large life insurance policy on her. Someone who was going to have her committed to a loony bin. Someone who hired some schlep to wear a mask and scare the crap out of his wife. Like the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, this plot device looms over the whole movie; and it should be a surprise to no one when this revelation lands and blots out the sky with giant clouds of crap. Like a train wreck in slow motion, we all saw it coming but no one could do anything about it.

I guess that Mr. Kanefsky realized that he showed his plot twist too early, because he decided to sink all of his foreshadowing into the first plot twist and none into the second. When the masked killer finally corners Ellen and prepares to kill her, she turns into a demon for seemingly no apparent raisin.

Then she kills a lot of people.

Ellen and Mia duke it out, and when Ellen dies the Nightmare Man jumps into Mia. Then the credits roll and your left with a mixed feeling of disappointment and shame for having wasted so much of your time on this piece of crap.

Click for a Latin-English translator.

If I had to draw some sort of parable to this movie, I would say that it was like that episode of Scooby Doo where they find out it was the old man who would have gotten away with it had it not been for those meddling kids. It really doesn't matter which episode of Scooby Doo you pick, they're pretty much all the same. Its even got the same thinly veiled sexual tension between Daphne and Velma, or was that just my imagination? Well its just like that, except at the end Shaggy turns into a demon and eats the rest of the gang. So, yeah, that's pretty much Nightmare Man in a nutshell. Scooby Doo, but with demonic possession.

Believe it or not, I actually found the trailer to this movie. Unfortunately I'm borrowing a computer at the moment and am having trouble getting the file to embed, you're just gonna have to do it the old fashioned way and click the link.

See you next time, Sporefans!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


So I seem to have some computer woes. I know that you've all been waiting patiently for the new review, so here's something to keep you occupied in the meantime..

Choose your favorite movie villain!!!

Here's how it works: I'll give you a brief lowdown on four movie villains, and you pick which one you like the best. Think of it like the Oscar's for fictional characters, but you get to vote and its not decided by a shadowy board of members operating from obscurity.

Or, if you like, pretend that you are a member of a shadowy board of members and that you're operating from obscurity in your own home. Love that Internet don't cha?

The contestants are the following:

First, up is Pinhead from the movie Hellraiser. Pinhead is not only famous for his stylish haircut, but also for his sadomasochistic love of ripping people apart with barbed chains as well as a few well timed barbed comments!

"Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell." -Pinhead.

Second is Mola Ram, from the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Politician by day and heart ripping priest by night, Mola Ram sports evil on multiple levels. Plus, he betrayed Sheba. Oooh.

You can't have a movie villain contest without the Joker from the movie Batman, or at least without comments about his funny purple gas. Maybe he should have that checked out by a doctor.

Last, but not least on the list is Richter from the movie Total Recall. I couldn't get a decent shot of the character, but as its Michael Ironside it doesn't matter. Our of all the villains listed here, Ironside is the guy who is most likely to actually be evil outside the movies. I mean... uhhh... I'm sure he's not, but... uhhh...

Please don't kill me Mr. Ironside.